Sigiriya monastery, (in) Sigiriya, Central Province, SL

Raw data

“Around 15km northeast of Dambulla, the spectacular citadel of SIGIRIYA rises sheer and impregnable out of the denuded plains of the dry zone, sitting atop a huge outcrop of gneiss rock towering 200m above the surrounding countryside. […]
Inscriptions found in the caves that honeycomb the base of the rock indicate that Sigiriya served as a place of religious retreat as far back as the third century BC, when Buddhist monks established refuges here. It wasn’t until the fifth century AD, however, that Sigiriya rose briefly to pre-eminence in Sri Lankan affairs, following the power struggle that succeeded the reign of Dhatusena (455–473) of Anuradhapura. Dhatusena had two sons, Mogallana, by the most pre-eminent of his various queens, and Kassapa, his son by a lesser consort. […] Kassapa, preparing for the expected invasion, constructed a new residence on top of the 200m-high Sigiriya Rock […]. According to tradition, the entire extraordinary structure was built in just seven years, from 477 to 485. […] in 491, […] Facing certain capture and defeat, Kassapa killed himself.
Following Mogallana’s reconquest, Sigiriya was handed over to the Buddhist monks, after which its caves once again became home to religious ascetics seeking peace and solitude. The site was finally abandoned in 1155, after which it remained largely forgotten until modern times.”

Input by: tmciolek, Jan 24, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 24 Jan 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Sigiriya monastery, SL.

General location of the Sigiriya monastery, SL.
Lat 7.95695 Long 80.75995
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2013.

Google Map link:,%20SL)&ll=7.95695,80.75995&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Sigiriya cave monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Sri Lanka:Central Province

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 7.95695 Long 80.75995 - based on visual identification of the flat top of the Sigiriya rock (with the surrounding cliffs with caves) in satellite imagery, - tmciolek, 24 Jan 2013.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Theravada

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag <=0200 - tmciolek 24 Jan 2013
  • <=0200 0200-32c 0233-66c 0267-99c 0300-32c 0333-66c 0367-99c 0400-32c 0433-66c 0467-99c 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • MBM chrono-tag - hiatus during 467-499, monks continued their monastic activities elsewhere - tmciolek 24 Jan 2013

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag 1133-66c - tmciolek 24 Jan 2013
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